NEWS/ Bibliotheca Palatina Digitally Reunited

HEIDELBERG (GERMANY) – After centuries of separation, one of the most valuable collections of manuscripts from the Middle Ages and Early Modern Age – the Bibliotheca Palatina – has been virtually reunited. Heidelberg University Library digitised not only the German manuscripts in its own holdings but also the Latin codices of this “mother of all libraries”, housed in Rome for nearly 400 years within the walls of the Vatican Library, the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. The Manfred Lautenschläger Foundation provided the long-term financing that made possible this landmark project in scholarly research. A ceremony has been held on 15 February 2018 at Heidelberg University to commemorate the completion of the digitisation. Project is sponsored by Honorary Senator of Ruperto Carola, Dr. h.c. Manfred Lautenschläger.

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Photo: University Library Heidelberg Illustrated Latin magnificent codex from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana in Rome.

The technical capabilities of digitisation and the Internet gave the University Library the opportunity to reunite this “treasure of Western culture”, now split between Rome and Heidelberg, into a single virtual library. To this end, Heidelberg University and the Vatican established a cooperation extending over several years. “We are extremely grateful to our Honorary Senator for funding this ambitious idea,” says Heidelberg University President Prof. Dr Bernhard Eitel. The Manfred Lautenschläger Foundation supported not only the digitisation of the German-language manuscripts in Heidelberg. Thanks to the Foundation’s financial support, a University Library digitisation studio was set up in the Vatican to capture the Latin codices. “For us, the virtual reunification of the German and Latin Palatina manuscripts is a dream come true,” emphasises Dr Veit Probst, Director of the Heidelberg University Library.

The Bibliotheca Palatina had a long history even before Pope Gregory XV confiscated it in the Thirty Years’ War and transferred it to the Vatican in 1623. For nearly 250 years, it had grown from two sources – the royal collections of the Heidelberg Castle and the libraries of Heidelberg University founded in 1386. With the exception of the German-language codices, which were permitted to return to Heidelberg in 1816, the Palatina remains a foundation of the Vatican Library in Rome. At the beginning of the 17th century, it was known as “the greatest treasure of Germany’s learned”. As a universal library, it contains not only theological, philological, philosophical, and historical works but also medical, natural history, and astronomical texts. It therefore remains of great interest for a number of academic disciplines. The digitised core inventory of approximately 3,000 manuscripts is now available to everyone over the Internet.

All digitized manuscripts can be found here.

Source: Official press release

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The invention of the Bayeux Tapestry: an International Colloquium at the Bayeux Museum

BAYEUX (FRANCE) – The 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings (1066) marks an excellent occasion to reconsider the so-called “Tapisserie de Bayeux” not only for its historical value, which is already well known by scholars, but by highliting its artistic importance, far from being fully explored. An international Colloquium (“L’invention de la Tapisserie de Bayeux : NAISSANCE, COMPOSITION ET STYLE D’UN CHEF-D’OEUVRE MEDIEVAL”) will be held in Bayeaux from 22 to 25 September at the Bayeux Museum. Papers and talks will be presented by 23 scholars and researchers  working in different countries (France, Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Canada and United States) who will share knowledge and experiences from different disciplines and fields of study (textiles, history of Arts, archaeology, latin language, etc.).

Access is free. Lectures are in French only. Complete programme (also in French language) is available at this link.

DU 22 AU 25 SEPTEMBRE 2016
Direction : Cécile Binet, Pierre Bouet, Shirley Ann Brown, Sylvette Lemagnen, François Neveux, Gale Owen-Crocker

For more info, please visit the official Museum Website: http://www.bayeuxmuseum.com/colloque_international_tapisser…

1,000 year old Anglo-Saxon potion kills MRSA superbug

The British Library Board (Royal 12 D xvii) bug MCRS

A thousand-year-old Anglo-Saxon potion for eye infections may hold the key to wiping out the modern-day superbug MRSA, according to new research.

The 10th-century “eyesalve” remedy, as CNN reports,  was discovered at the British Library in a leather-bound volume of Bald’s Leechbook, widely considered to be one of the earliest known medical textbooks.

Christina Lee, an expert on Anglo-Saxon society from the School of English at the University of Nottingham, translated the ancient manuscript despite some ambiguities in the text.
“We chose this recipe in Bald’s Leechbook because it contains ingredients such as garlic that are currently investigated by other researchers on their potential antibiotic effectiveness,” Lee said in a video posted on the university’s website.
“And so we looked at a recipe that is fairly straightforward. It’s also a recipe where we are told it’s the ‘best of leechdoms’ — how could you not test that? So we were curious.”
Lee enlisted the help of the university’s microbiologists to see if the remedy actually worked.
The recipe calls for two species of Allium (garlic and onion or leek), wine and oxgall (bile from a cow’s stomach) to be brewed in a brass vessel. Recipe was recreated and tested on cultures of MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a type of staph bacterium that does not respond to commonly used antibiotic treatments. The scientists, Cnn reports, were astonished by the lab results.
Lee, who translated the text from Old English, believes the discovery could change people’s views of the medieval period as the “Dark Ages”.
Read the whole story here.

Call for Contributions: Edited Volume ‘After the Carolingians: Manuscript Illumination in the Tenth–Eleventh Centuries’

Medieval Art Research

salzburgpericopes001Call for Contributions: edited volume After the Carolingians: Manuscript Illumination in the Tenth–Eleventh Centuries
Deadline: Jun 1, 2016

A great deal of research remains to be done on the substantial and
wide-ranging corpus of illuminated manuscripts produced in continental
Europe between the late ninth and late eleventh centuries. Whether
tucked away in footnotes or relegated to the status of comparanda, the
extant manuscripts from this difficult period of history — particularly
from the regions of modern-day France and Flanders — rarely receive the
focused attention they deserve. Yet many manuscripts from the tenth and
eleventh centuries have the potential to challenge our understanding of
fundamental issues of historical inquiry, including the nature of
artistic originality, various processes of transmission, the working
relationships between artists, patrons and scribes; even the essential
character and functions of illumination.

We seek papers that offer new perspectives on the culture of
illuminated books produced between…

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All about Mantua: Isabella d’Este’s world online

Perceval Archeostoria (english site)

IDEA-banner-image

An instrument for scholars, students, and visitors, but also an exercise in imagination, exploration, and critical engagement. All this and much more is IDEA: Isabella d’Este Archive, a project which focuses on one of the most influential figures of the Italian Renaissance, Isabella d’Este (1474-1539).

IDEA offers users around the world new ways to explore the history and culture of early modern Europe through  a digitalized version of Isabella’s letters, music, and art collections, as they evolved during her reign as the marchesa of Mantua. These resources map a world where politics, art, music, family life, business, and social relations intertwined, prior to the modern separation of many of these concerns into separate spheres.

The IDEA Site is currently under construction but some contents are already available. Researches and contributors can join project teams as well as discuss in Forums.

DIRECTORS are:

Deanna Shemek, PhD
University of California, Santa Cruz

Anne MacNeil, PhD
University of…

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